One event that needs a plug: Electric car show in Morristown, Sept. 20

Chris Neff with his BMW i3, at a Morristown event last year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Chris Neff with his BMW i3, at a Morristown event last year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
2

Here’s one show that really needs a plug.

Nearly 20 electric vehicles will be displayed this Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at the Presbyterian Parish House in Morristown from 10 am to 2 pm.

The owners, members of the New Jersey Electric Auto Association, collectively have logged almost 250,000 miles of electric driving. Which makes them pioneers of sorts.

We’re pretty sure they all can make it as far as 65 South St.  But will they have enough juice to get home?

Chris Neff with his BMW ActiveE at a Morristown event last year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Chris Neff with a BMW ActiveE, at a Morristown event last year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Chris Neff, who drives a BMW i3, should have no trouble returning to Mendham. But he has posted some lively blog entries about anxious 100-mile drives with his family.

Like many pioneers, Neff is an evangelist and a crusader. The Garden State needs to enter the 21st century, he said.

“There are public [battery charging] stations here and there but we need more.  New Jersey is really behind other states when it comes to public chargers.

“Morristown has an opportunity to change this.  There are many EV owners in the area.  Charging does not need to be free, just convenient,” said Neff, who works in marketing in New York City.

Another association member,  Tom Moloughney of Chester, has installed two public chargers at his restaurant, Nauna’s in Montclair.

HOLY ROLLERS

Saturday’s event–presented during National Drive Electric Week–is co-sponsored by Sustainable Morristown, a nonprofit advocacy group, and the Presbyterian Church in Morristown.

The church is working towards certification by Green Faith, an interfaith coalition that helps houses of worship set an environmental example.

Morristown’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, which is certified by Green Faith, began exploring the possibility of installing an electric charging station last winter. So far, it’s still in the study phase.

Meanwhile, curious motorists can get the low-down this weekend from owners, without lots of sales hype, said Paul Miller of Sustainable Morristown.

“We just want to show people that this technology continues to advance, and you don’t sacrifice safety or luxury. The owners who are exhibiting are not someone trying to sell you something. They’re just there to share their experiences and their passion,” Miller said.

The show kicks off a busy weekend for Sustainable Morristown, which hosts its annual Local Sunday Supper on Sept. 21, from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Hyatt Morristown. An afternoon of farm-to-table tastings, prepared by local gourmet chefs and farms, costs $100 per person, or $175 per couple, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit.

‘THEY ARE FUN’

Neff’s BMW i3 is his third electric car; the others were an ActiveE and a MiniE, both from BMW’s test program.

“I love driving them. The first time you get behind the wheel you get it,” he said via email. “It is not only about being eco-friendly, it is also how these cars drive– and they drive great, they are fun.  My first EV experience was back in 2009 when I got to drive what was called an eBox. The instantaneous power got me hooked.”

Electric vehicles are especially good as a second car for family errands and around-town driving, Neff said.

“These are often quick trips, five- to 10 miles, and EVs shine here.  Driving those miles will cost about a dime in electricity.  When you get home you plug in, then head out again.  Keep in mind you don’t have to plug in, many EVs have 75-mile range or more, but plugging in becomes a habit, just like your phone…plugging in at home just feels right.”

Among the vehicles anticipated on Saturday are a Tesla Model S, a Tesla Roadster, a Nissan LEAF, a Chevy Volt, a Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, a Mitsubishi i and a Zero motorcycle.

If you ask nicely, the owners might even take you for a spin.

FUELING UP:  A Tesla Roadster re-charges its battery on the Morristown Green in 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
FUELING UP: A Tesla Roadster re-charges its battery during an event at the Morristown Green in 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

 

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi John– Electric cars are intriguing on many levels. The first question for many prospective buyers is likely to be: Will this thing get me where I need to go? It’s a fair question, and I think Chris has tackled it head-on, pardon the expression.

  2. Kevin:
    It’s great that you’re giving this a plug, but did you really need to say:
    ‘We’re pretty sure they all can make it as far as 65 South St. But will they have enough juice to get home?’
    I’m coming in a Tesla Model S from Readington, and I have no worries about getting there and back. Let the big auto companies and oil companies cast doubt on EV’s. Don’t do it ourselves.

LEAVE A REPLY